Depreciating self-talk is like HTML.
HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language; it’s the language used to create web pages and considered the building blocks for how a page will display to the viewer.
I had a conversation with a middle-school-age girl, whom I’ve known since she was born, over the weekend that illuminated to me how critical it is that we examine how we speak to ourselves.
She was telling me that she is really lazy. I don’t think it’s uncommon for kids to be considered lazy. By definition, it means unwilling to work or use energy. And in certain situations, I know laziness is the default label we use when we experience someone trying to avoid work or responsibilities.
My premonition though is that the lazy label she’s given herself could lend to this beautiful, vibrant young woman potentially not achieving her potential simply because she believes she is too lazy to. And that saddens me.
This actually came up recently with a new nutrition client I’m working with. During our first session, I had to administer some tough love regarding the depreciating self-talk. I do not tolerate it and here’s why: our language, the words we choose, are incredibly powerful. When we speak, whether we are addressing others, or ourselves, attributes to our internal programming.
There are many real-world examples of this, unfortunately. Children being told they’re “no good” or “losers” who won’t amount to anything and then we watch these kids actualize behaviors that affirm the labels they were given.
I saw the conversation I had with the girl as an opportunity to help her reframe her “laziness” as a means of energy conservation so that when she finds there is something that lights her up, she’ll have the energy to pursue it with purpose. I encouraged her to use language that signifies conservation of energy so as to not justify the label of laziness.
Granted, it might not get her out of her share of chores at home but I do believe that there is great power in shifting how we label ourselves and our behaviors.
If you are using depreciating self-talk or language of any kind towards yourself, please stop immediately.
You become what you believe yourself to be so if you’re constantly calling yourself a fat ass or pig, talking about your lack of discipline or that you can’t achieve what you want because you’re lazy or whatever, you are creating your reality.
Your choice of words – your personal HTML is code for how YOU view yourself internally and how you display yourself externally.
Your language is literally coding you so please stop talking down to yourself. Choose your words, your HTML, wisely.